The following is taken from the Ash Wednesday liturgy used at our church today.   It was presented in litany form but I’m sharing it with you as a prayer.

Let us confess our sins before God and in the presence of one another.

Most merciful God, we confess to You that by our own failings and short comings, we have sinned against You

in thought, word, and deed, by what we have done and by what we have left undone.

We have not loved You with our whole heart, and mind and strength.

We have not loved our neighbors as ourselves.

We have not forgiven others, as we have been forgiven.

We have failed to serve others as Christ has served us.

We have been filled with pride.

We have been impatient as we wait for Your will to be done.

We have sought to satisfy our own appetites by exploiting others.

We envy those more fortunate than ourselves.

We fail to share with vigor and enthusiasm the faith that is in us.

We neglect prayer and worship.

All these faults and failings, we confess to You, O Lord.

For the wrongs we have done, for the uncharitable thoughts toward our neighbors,

Accept our repentance.

For our prejudice and contempt toward people who differ from us and for wasting resources and polluting Your creation,

Accept our repentance.

Restore us, renew us, and refresh us, good Lord.

Look with favor on us, for Your mercy is great.

Shower us with Your grace

that we may show forth Your glory in the world.

By the cross and bitter sufferings of Your Son and our Lord,

bring us to the glory of the resurrection.

The following poem was also shared and the girls and I plan to memorize it during this Lenten season:

“O Dearest Friend”

O dearest Friend, my nearest and most faithful Friend,

Do not discard me though I grieve You much.

I look for You at every cliff-walled trail’s end,

In crowds and lonely rooms, to feel Your touch.

I mourn the vows of love I made but have not kept,

I call You from a heart You made Your own.

Remember me as one who in the garden slept

While You were on Your way to earn my fadeless crown.

Create in me a heart as clean as newest born,

A heart, my God, that beats for You alone;

Make it a temple Your free Spirit would adorn,

With living flesh replace my heart of stone.

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,

Recapture, oh, the thrill of our first love,

Securely hold me, mold me,  Your creation,

Delight me  yet again with such disarming love.

Blessed Lent and see you next week.

{There’s an excellent interview of a Lutheran pastor about Ash Wednesday and Lent at the Issues, Etc. website.}